MADRID — In a top management shuffle that reflects the ever more crucial role played by larger sales agents in financing movies, long-term Wild Bunch sales agent Carole Baraton has been named head of international sales.
A co-founder of Wild Bunch when it set up as an independent company in 2002, Baraton will take over from Wild Bunch co-founder and partner Vincent Maraval, who segues into a more strategic position overseeing the co-production, acquisition and financing of projects.
Baraton will continue to oversee sales to the U.S., Northern Europe and all English-speaking territories, and now supervises the Wild Bunch sales team as well.
Maraval will not leave the sales frontline completely, still selling movies to his territories such as Japan and Canada.
The reassignment of roles recognizes the evolving realities of the international sales sector. Wild Bunch has long moved beyond the role of a straight sales agent, providing a vast range of financial, production and distribution commitments on films from four continents. It owns or co-owns distribution companies in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, and is able to put up substantial minimum guarantees to acquire films at early project stage, or become a co-producer.
Maraval has effectively overseen and engineered much of that project-by-project financing.
Wild Bunch’s Cannes lineup includes six movies in competition made by directors from the U.S. (James Gray’s “The Immigrant”), Japan (Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Like Father, Like Son”), Denmark (Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives”) and France (Arnaud Desplechin’s “Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian”), Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” and Francois Ozon’s “Young & Beautiful”).
More French directors are moving into English-language filmmaking: Sold by Wild Bunch, Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties” plays out-of-competition at Cannes, for instance; “Jimmy P.” is Desplechin’s English-language debut.
In the complex indie financing sector, the re-jigging of roles will allow Maraval to leverage his vast contacts and market knowledge to get the best deals for films and partnering producers, and to try to hang on to key talent relationships as well.
Elsa Keslassy contributed to this report.